Klaus Merkel
18.06.03 Master Slave System (afterglow), 2018
Oil on canvas
65 × 50 cm
Klaus Merkel

The problems of painting—color, contrast, figure/ground, surface/line, texture, gesture, realism/abstraction—their presentation and reception are complex insofar as they are not solvable in the traditional sense. Each particular solution reconfigures the questions of the whole. The painter Klaus Merkel (b. 1953) has taken on this dispositive in his practice for over 30 years. His earliest exhibitions already positioned themselves again the auraticisation of individual paintings by means of unorthodox installations—images installed as clusters, blocks and series—while self-consciously addressing their character as a specific form of showing. These image installations culminated in his 1988 solo exhibition at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf where he presented 25 large format paintings on a single wall of the otherwise empty exhibition space, transforming the paintings within this ‘hyper-frame’ into a single image. Influenced by an age of ongoing crisis in the artistic, economic and ideological spheres, what soon followed was a sharp rupture in his painting practice, a turn that would open up unexpected perspectives and potentials with regard to what can be negotiated in an image beyond the ‘Crisis of Representation’.

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